Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dangerously Hot

It doesn't take a meteorologist to determine that it is dangerously hot in Rogers Park today. The Chicago Tribune stated in Chicago area bakes in first day of expected heat wave,

"Chicago-area residents braced for a week of hot weather as the heat index reached 103 at the city’s downtown lakefront, with much of the Midwest beginning to bake under a hot air mass that has plagued the South in recent weeks".

As I opened a jewelery and photography shop for a friend at Grandville and Broadway this morning, I realized that without fans or air-conditioning, customers would be at a minimum.

This afternoon at the beaches of Rogers Park, barbeques, swimming and drinking are being enjoyed by hundreds. Walkers and runners are enjoying Sheridan Road from Loyola, and all the way to Northwestern University in Evanston.

Here are some tips for surviving during this dangerously hot weather:

•Check on your neighbors. Elderly people (65 years and older), infants and children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress.

•Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelters in your area.

•Get informed. Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates

•Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.

•Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen. Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.


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